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Pocket Sales the Silent Listing

By Brian Kline | August 30, 2016

When it comes to marketing your house for sale it isn't probably something you given much thought about. A good real estate agent will certainly help but you're going to be the most affected. You need to take a strong interest in the marketing plan.

Pocket Listings

Most sellers host to list on the local MLS but that's not your only option. Pocket listings – or private listings – are becoming a bigger part of the process. A pocket listing is a property for sale that is not marketed on the MLS.

Instead of the MLS, pocket listings are advertised in other places. Mostly with on the agent's website or with other agents. The result is that you don't have a lot of people walking through your house. It's more or less how it works when you see a real estate sign that says "by appointment only". The bigger difference is that you don't even have a for sale sign at your property line. It's very private.


Round Trip

Sometimes called dual agency, this when the listing agent earns both the selling commission and the buying commission. This can be the motivation to take on a pocket listing.

Pocket listings can serve as a great private option for selling your home, as it limits the pool of buyers to those potentially willing to pay a premium for the ability to bid on the home before it reaches a broader market.

But when not being used for immoral purposes, pocket listings can be a bad way for agents and sellers to achieve a deal with less interruption in the seller’s life, which is a point worth making, says Alex Ianos, CEO of Pocket Deed, a real estate listing site for properties not listed in the MLS.

Why Would You Want to Sell Your Home With a Pocket Listing?

Certain circumstances make listing a property privately an attractive option, to both avoid the gaze of the public eye and to protect the property from the stigma a home can develop if it remains on the MLS even slightly longer than market average. Here are a few reasons a pocket listing may be a good idea for you.

“It might be security purposes, it might be business purposes,” says Walt Danley, president of Walt Danley Realty, Christie’s International Real Estate in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

You may be a public figure who doesn’t want your dirty laundry in the open, or you may have a tenant on your property you haven’t told about the sale. With a private listing, you reduce the chance of inquiring strangers driving by and causing problems.

Maybe you live somewhere else and have a rental house for sale. You probably can't keep it in good appearance and ready for sale all of the time. A pocket listing agent can make it ready when a serious client comes around.

Going Public

You can try a pocket listing for few weeks to learn if there is any strong interest. And then you can change it to a public listing. You'll probably need to list it for less on the MLS but your chances for a sale will increase. During the pocket listing you can make repairs and improvements to the property. That will increase your ability to sell at full retail on the MLS market.

About 90 percent of the time, you'll be better off going public. In today's world, you will likely have bidding wars in the public market. You can probably sell for more than the listing price.

A few times a pocketing listings makes  sense but most of the time a MLS listing makes the most sense.

Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or if you have a question.

BioAuthor bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.

Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years with articles listed on Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and uRBN. Brian is a regular contributor at Realty Biz News
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